A Christmas miracle prompts joy for teen battling cancer
Logan Pleschourt and his family may have experienced their own “Christmas Miracle.”
On Oct. 4, the Medford High School sophomore was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. For the past four months, he has underwent intense chemotherapy treatments and, amazingly, doctors no longer see any cancer in his body.
“They aren’t ruling that he is cancer-free yet,” Pleschourt’s stepfather Shannon Lique said. “But there’s absolutely nothing. He just has to finish out all the rounds now.”
Lique said doctors have told the family that Pleschourt still has a challenging road ahead.
“They said the next few months after his last round [of chemo] it’s going to kind of be like coming off a drug or
quitting smoking, his body will go through a very hard course,” he said. “[His body] literally has to start from scratch. It has to push all the chemo out and just basically start all over again.”
Pleschourt’s mother, Heather Lique, said she took him to emergency room back in September because he was suffering from chest pain and an elevated heart rate.
Doctors told the family that something in Pleschourt’s blood wasn’t right because his platelets were high and his hemoglobin was low.
Lique said doctors believed he was possibly anemic, but then he started having fevers that were as high as 103 degrees. Pleschourt’s primary care doctors sent him to Saint Mary’s in Rochester on Sept. 21.
Upon arrival, Pleschourt received an ultrasound, CT Scan and more blood work.
“[The doctors] told me that night they were thinking he had cancer,’” Heather said. “They just didn’t know what, and they weren’t for sure.”
Shannon said the Medford community and school has been phenomenal throughout everything.
“The night we came back from him finding out, he sent a message to one of his friends and he was very desperated,’ he said. “By time we got home, just about everyone on the football team had messaged him with support.
“It made a night and day difference,” Shannon continued. “He was cheered up, in good spirits and he wasn’t as down as he was. All those boys and coaches have been there for him the whole time.”
Approximately a week later, Pleschourt had a five-hour surgery to biopsy a lymph node from his neck, a bone marrow biopsy from his hips and had chemo port inserted into his chest.
“It was very long day.” Shannon said. “But it was a blessing that we’re able to find it when we did.”
Before starting chemotherapy a Pet Scan revealed the cancer was at Stage 4B, which means it had spread to go one or more organs.
Heather said the family established a plan of action within a week of receiving the diagnosis.
Pleschourt has undergone four cycles of chemotherapy so far with the final round scheduled for New Year’s weekend.
“[The doctors] said the first two years afterwards, he has to go in every three months to get checked out,” Shannon said. “We have been very fortunate. He’s been a good kid through all of this. He’s never got sick and suffered any weight loss from any of the chemo.”
Pleschourt weighed 97 pounds when was diagnosed. He currently weighs 128 pounds.
Even though he hasn’t experienced a lot of sickness or weight loss, Pleschourt has still had to deal with some side effects from the medication.
“One of the side effects was massive jaw pain,” Shannon said. “He got that first treatment on a Friday and by Monday he couldn’t even open his mouth. We had to take him back over to the hospital and he was there for a day and half.”
Pleschourt, who played wide receiver for Tigers’ football team, said he started to notice there was something wrong with his body during practice.
“I lost breath really quick,” he said. “I was always tired and I couldn’t really keep up with the team.”
He said it was tough to process everything when he first found out his diagnosis, but he believes that his involvement in athletics was ultimately beneficial throughout this process.
“I felt like if wasn’t in football then things would have been worse,” he said. “Like my body started here and dropped, but I feel like if I wasn’t in sports then the starting point would have been lower and it would have dropped completely and stayed low and I wouldn’t have been able to do much.”
Shannon said even though Pleschourt was not able to compete, he attended nearly all of the Tiger’s football games and activities.
“I tried to be there as much as possible just to watch and support the team,” Pleschourt said. “The only parts I really missed was going to lift with everybody.”
Pleschourt said doctors have told him he could potentially return to competing in athletics once the port is removed from his chest.
Doctors will perform another Pet Scan three weeks after Pleschourt’s final round of chemotherapy, and come up with a plan of action based on those results.
“They are going to determine when they will remove the port a few weeks after his Pet Scan,” Shannon said. “Then he has to go back in for surgery so they can take it out.”
Shannon said there has been a couple times where Pleschourt has broken down emotionally because he wants desperately for things to go back to normal.
“He misses having a normal life,” Shannon said. “He misses being able to go hang out with friends and do what he wants, when he wants and not have to worry about getting sick. He just wants to be a kid again.”
Medford Athletic Director Kevin Werk said he’s proud of the way Pleschourt has battled through everything.
“It just really puts football in perspective,” he said. “Wins and losses don’t mean anything compared to someone battling cancer.”
One of the things the school has done is hosted a Tackle Cancer football game against United South Central to raise money for Pleschourt on Oct. 18.
“We played really well that night and dedicated the game to [Pleschourt],” Werk said. “He was able to be at the game and be on sidelines and be a part of the whole night. It was great way to end the regular season and do something positive for family.
“Our schools has been really good at rallying around him and doing different benefits,” he continued. “It’s not like it was one-time deal and we just kind of forgot about him. It’s a continuous thought in a lot of people’s minds in this school. We all want support him the best way we can.”
Pleschourt said every athletic team at Medford has shown their support one way or another, but the strongest show of support in his eyes was his friends and teammates who shaved their heads.
He said the most challenging part of the experience for him was losing his hair, and it meant a lot to him for those individuals to go through that with him.
“We have been fortunate and had great support from all of our family, friends and the community,” Shannon said. “We are very blessed.”
There will be a Hope for the Cure Benefit and Silent Auction on Saturday, Jan. 27 at the American Legion in Faribault to help support the family and Pleschourt will be a sponsor at the Tigers Tackling Childhood Cancers fundraiser on March 15 at Medford High School where volunteers will have their heads shaved to raise money for children diagnosed with cancer.
Anyone interested in helping the family alleviate some of the financial burden can donate at https://www.gofundme.com/benefit-for-logan-pleschourt.